Prominent mortician cleared in alleged threat
By Casey Toner firstname.lastname@example.org October 16, 2013 10:30PM
Updated: November 18, 2013 8:01AM
The former Rich Township High School District 227 superintendent’s father-in-law said he was “elated and vindicated” that a Cook County judge found him not guilty of threatening the school board president in June.
The judge last week cleared Spencer Leak Sr. of a charge of disorderly conduct after a board meeting at which the board fired Supt. Donna Leak, who’s married to Leak Sr.’s son, Spencer Leak Jr.
Leak Sr. is president of Leak and Sons Funeral Homes, which has parlors in Chicago and Country Club Hills.
Board president Cheryl Coleman told police that Leak Sr. walked up to her, pointed at her by holding “his fingers like a gun” and said he was going to get her. When she asked what he intended, Leak Sr. told her that it was “for him to know and for Coleman to find out,” according to police.
Leak Sr. denied making a threat, saying he was simply responding to “attacks against my family name” and went to the meeting in support of his daughter-in-law, who has since sued the district over her dismissal.
“I did not feel I acted in a way that I was accused of,” he said.
Asked about the judge’s decision, Coleman said she was saddened that “justice did not get served to the fullest potential.”
Leak Sr. said he holds no grudge against Coleman and plans to reach out to her about District 227 partnering with a nonprofit organization he runs with prominent Chicago businessman Ed Gardner, the founder of Soft Sheen hair care products.
If allowed, mentors from the organization, “Black on Black Love,” would help students from the three District 227 high schools mediate conflicts, Leak Sr. said.
He said the group may be able to help prevent future incidents such as the bomb threat and massive brawl that occurred Sept. 30 at Rich South High School, resulting in criminal charges against 16 students.
The group’s goal, he said, would be to “make sure the southern suburbs do not become a South Side neighborhood with all the problems ... in Chicago.”
Coleman said she had not talked to Leak Sr. about the plan.